Not many people are aware of just how long sex toys have been around. After some extensive research on the matter, we have decided to enlighten you with some interesting facts on A Brief History of Sex Toys.
The oldest of sex toys
Archaeologists found this 28,000yr old stone object that they believe to probably be the worlds oldest dildo in Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm, Swabia back in 2005. Made from carved silt-stone, it stands at a very generous 7.8 inches long (20cm) and around 3 inches wide. The phallus-like object is rounded at the end and has been polished to absolute perfection leading people to believe it was in fact used as a dildo.
Fact… Crystal dildos especially rose quartz are coming into fashion now, however, their safety is in question.
Another very old, and one of our favourites, although we reckon it may just be rumours, is that Cleopatra, the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, back in 51BC, owned her very own vibrator! Rumour has it that she had a hollow dildo created from papyrus and filled it with angry bees to give the buzzing sensation. Even though this may just be rumours, we give an A+ for creativity on this one. Talk about being organic!
Some 2000 years ago during the Greco-Roman era, ancient Greeks introduced the idea of hysteria from lack of sexual activity and the men would give their wives dildos, or olisbos as they called them, when they went away to war. These olisbos were usually made from leather and wood. Another famous dildo from the ancient Greeks is the olisbokollix (picture below), which basically means dildos made entirely out of bread (baguettes). Now that is a pretty delicious sex toy!
During the Ming Dynasty some 2000 years ago, the ancient Chinese used sex toys just as we use them today, well that and for spiritual purposes of course. The aristocrats of this generation had a very active lusty sex life and actively engaged in the use of bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. The presence of these erotic objects in Han Dynasty tombs, plus vessels to drink wine from, reveals an intent to continue their lavish ways in the afterlife. The butt plugs may have served more than one purpose, other than the pleasure received from them, they may have been inserted to prevent the mysterious life energy called chi, from escaping the body. IFL Science online has published an article about a planned excavation that revealed more than 150 Han tomb treasures. There are many forms of art that have been discovered that shows the use of these ancient sex toys in ancient china.
The history of sex toys certainly is a fascinating one. Fast forward nearly 2000 years and we start to see some of the earliest inventions of these toys.
In France, 1734, one of the first vibrators ever invented. They called this device Le Tremoussoir. This was a handheld wind-up toy that produced a vibrating motion on one end of it. It was created for the purpose of treating hysteria, as the doctors providing these services claimed it was tedious, time-consuming and physically hard work. They were looking for devices to be used as a substitute or replacement for their fingers. We like to call these doctors “the masters of orgasms”.
In the year 1869, an American physician called Dr George Taylor came up with a unique, yet pretty terrifying, device to help ease the illness known as hysteria (sexual frustration) in women. It was called the manipulator and was basically a steam-powered, coal-fired vibrator. This massive device had to be kept in 2 separate rooms. The massive engine had its own room where the doctors would shovel coal into it to keep it running and the “vibrator” in another, where the patients would be treated.
The first electrical vibrator
In the early 1880s, the vibrator had a serious breakthrough, with the invention of electricity one man named Joseph Mortimer Granville, an English doctor, author and inventor, sought to take it further and invented the first-ever electromechanical vibrator, it was named “Granville’s Hammer”. It is known that Dr Granville did not create this device for the treatment of hysteria but rather to relieve muscle aches and pains. In his 1883 book on the subject, Nerve-Vibration and Excitation as Agents in the Treatment of Functional Disorder and Organic Disease, he wrote, “I have never yet percussed a female patient … I have avoided, and shall continue to avoid the treatment of women by percussion, simply because I do not wish to be hoodwinked, and help to mislead others, by the vagaries of the hysterical state …”. Although people quickly seen its true potential and started using it as a means of bringing on paroxysm (orgasms) in women for the treatment of hysteria.
Thankfully we have come a very long way with the inventions and materials of our sex toys.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this A Brief History of Sex Toys. Which one is your favourite? Have you visited any museums and seen toys like this in the flesh? Please let us know in the comments below!